Friday, April 20, 2012
Dear Earth Day
Dear Earth Day,
We welcome you this year with our newly planted tulips that have gone into full bloom!
I have a favorite T-shirt with a beautiful quote that I always associate with Earth Day: The Earth was not given to us by our parents, but loaned to us by our children. As we live our day-to-day life, it's sometimes hard to see the bigger picture. It's not everyday that we think about how Earth has a finite life--with a beginning, middle and an end--and how lucky we are to be here in the midst of it. I guess we all get a little reminder each year when our children learn about the good things we can do to keep Earth a better home in the month of April.
When we throw away a piece of trash, we don't usually think about the rest of its life. When we take out a garbage bag, we don't think about all the garbage bags in our neighborhood, in our city, in our state, in our country, and in our world. Multiply that one trash bag by the entire world's, then it's quite a scary picture. When I do think about that, it gives me much impetus to follow the three rules of recycling: Reduce, Recycle, Reuse. I recycle plenty of reusable materials (maybe a bit too much, as our closets are piling up with toilet paper rolls, glass jars, egg cartons, and milk jugs), since I always think I can make a nice project out of them with the kiddos. However, I am also very guilty of not always putting recyclable materials in the recycle bin but instead into the trash. But then again, I am the only one who will fish out something from the lovely trashcan to redirect it to the recycle bin.
On the topic of active recycling, our village provides us with a large trash bin and a small recycle bin. I hope I am not the only one who finds this strange. I believe that the recycle bin should be the bigger one. We build up way more things that are recyclable than not. When I see households that only push out a trash bin on garbage pickup days, it truly saddens me. Not taking the time to throw something away in a different bin for the sake of reducing trash is just beyond me. Not to mention our recycle materials do not have to be separated! Our recycle center has one feed for all materials, so we just have to put everything into one bin. It cannot be easier than that. (And yet, some people still choose not to push out an extra bin.)
The kiddos and I talked about what we can do to help our Earth. Dear Son immediately gave me some easy but great answers such as: turn off lights when they're not needed, make less trash, plant more trees and flowers, and recycle/reuse things. Dear Daughter also mentioned a few more: don't waste food, don't smoke and drive less to make less air pollution, don't litter, don't waste water, and cut down fewer trees. That they could come up with so many things already made me proud. We discussed how we can accomplish each of these things in our abilities, and decided that we should stick to our own suggestions.
Dear Husband and I also discussed the practicality of our recycle collector in the kitchen. It is an old trashcan, which is too darn small. A few milk jugs or juice containers would fill it up. When it's filled, our laziness takes over and points smaller pieces of recyclable materials to the trashcan. So we will be replacing our little bin with a large storage box to better facilitate the collection process before they go into the large recycle bin in the garage. And I vow to not be lazy and place all recyclable materials in the box instead of the trashcan, even if it means running up and down a flight of stairs. I'm making that my Earth Day Resolution (since I did not make a New Year Resolution this year).
A few weeks ago at Trifecta Writing Challenge, I submitted an entry about Earth Day. The prompt word was 'brain' in the third definition. See details of the prompt here. I'll leave you with this poem I wrote in celebration of Earth Day:
There are few things in life
That we can we really count on.
But our Earth promises us
Some things we depend upon.
The hours in a day,
And the weeks in a year;
They will never change,
We never have to fear.
Days turn into nights,
And nights back to days,
As Earth faithfully rotates
About its axis, always.
And the seasons of a year--
Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter--
One comes after the previous,
No matter where we shelter.
And so Earth's Brain
On auto-pilot will continue
To give us a steady rhythm
That our lives undeniably value.
It is, thus, natural for us
To embrace Earth's Heart,
And show our gratitude
To the planet we take part.
Once a year we are reminded
To be kind and gentle to Earth.
But all year long should we strive
To celebrate its dignified worth.
For our Home is incredibly rare;
As we know of no other place
In the vast universe so far,
That supports life and all of its grace.
So, Earth Day, I think we will have an annual tradition of welcoming you with our tulips from now on. We plan to add more bulbs into the earth of our yard so our first-born tulips will not only have a sibling or two, but also become fuller, more colorful, and act as a greater reminder of how important it is to observe the elements of making you a better place. Happy Earth Day!